Owner of home damaged by stolen SUV crash cited by city

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jul 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-24 16:09:40-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A South Richmond woman who complained to the city about the number of vehicle accidents in front of her home has received a letter citing her house for code violations.

Nancy Walton told CBS 6 News reporter Sandra Jones that she is shocked by the citation. That's because just last week police said a 15-year-old boy driving a stolen SUV slammed into a GRTC van before crashing into her home.

What was even more shocking to Walton, as a result of the accident, she received a letter in the mail citing her with four city code violations.

"I tried to calling the city. I got no response immediately," Walton said. "I have until August 29 to get the violations fixed or I can fines of up to $2500 per violation, per day, plus court costs and a lean could be put on the house."

Walton said she has been working with her insurance company and a contractor to make the
repairs and is baffled over the letter since she said her house is in good condition.

"My house is not a blighted house. It's damage to the fact of that accident," said Walton. "Other than that, it was well kept up."

Douglas Murrow, Richmond's Commissioner of Buildings, said that the city is required by the ordinance and property maintenance code to send the property owner a notice for anything that is deemed a concern.

Murrow said it is the homeowner's responsibility to do the repairs, even if it's not their fault and a vehicle ends up on their property.

Additionally, he said once his team learns more about Walton's work with contractors, the city will work with her if she needs another month or so to get the work completed.

However, Walton thinks the city could handle the situation in a different way.

"They should have a different letter that goes to people in the condition that I'm in. And there should be one for people who neglect their property," said Walton.

Richmond's Commissioner of Buildings tells CBS 6, the city's Property Maintenance Code has been on the books for 25 years. He said the code is not designed to generate revenue, but reduce the number of blighted properties.